The Journal of San Diego History
April 1962, Volume 8, Number 2
Jerry MacMullen, Editor

A Barren Hilltop Becomes a Park

Serra Museum.


A Plant Tour of Presidio Park

Serra Museum.

Even more at home on its hilltop…a wonderland of grassy slopes…trees…shrubs…the museum now contrasts sharply with its bleak exterior as shown above.

Acacia Pendula.

This group (81) of Acacia Pendula, across Presidio Drive from the Serra museum, is on of the most picturesque plantings in the park. The narrow leaves are light gray. THOMAS L. CRIST

Drawings by the late Alfred C. Hottes.

These detail drawings, both by the late Alfred C. Hottes, show, left, yellow, star-like flowers (8) Parkinsonia aculeata, Jerusalem thorn tree; right, blue phlox-like flowers of (17) Plumbago capensis. California Garden.


In the center of the left photo is (37) Taxodium distichum, or Montezuma Bald Cypress; behind are two varieties of Redwoods, with a Deodar Cedar (40) to the left. The other photo shows a young specimen of (28) Acacia podalyriaefolia or Pearl Acacia, silhouetted against dark green Eucalyptus lehmanni (25). THOMAS L. CRIST

Foliage details.

Foliage details from Presidio Park, drawn by Sally Bancroft. California Garden.

Along Cosoy Way.

Along Cosoy Way, at the easterly edge of The Bowl. Framed by the trees can be seen, across Mission Valley, the sun-drenched buildings of San Diego University. THOMAS L. CRIST

Route and Planting Map.

Route and Planting Map Keyed to Text; Drawn for California Garden by Alice M. Clark.

[Larger image of plant map=327k]

Route and Planting Map.

Key to Route and Planting Map.

Page 16.

Lawn covers the tumbled adobe walls.

A mantle of lawn covers the tumbled adobe walls which once were the Spanish Presidio, first permanent white settlement on the coast of what now is California.

(See map, Page 21)

Lawn covers the tumbled adobe walls.

A few feet southwesterly from the Indian statue may be seen the tile floor, and traces of the adobe walls of a room in the only Presidio building not covered by a lawn.

(See map, Page 21)


The Presidio of San Diego

Map from page 21.

Map of Serra Museum site:
Page 21.


The Junipero Serra Museum

Serra Cross

On this spot, California began. The Serra Cross, erected in 1913 and faced with fragments of Presidio tile, marks the approximate spot where Fr. Junipero Serra established the original mission, on July 16, 1769.

Statue of Fr. Junipero Serra.

Not far to the westerly of Serra Museum stands this handsome bronze statue of Fr. Junipero Serra, founder of the California Missions. It is the work of the late Arthur Putnam. B.L. SHANKLAND.

El Jupiter

Silent for many years, the Spanish cannon El Jupiter faces seaward from the earthworks at the military crest of Presidio Hill. A bronze muzzle-loader, it was cast in Manila in 1783.   JERRY MACMULLEN

16th Century vargueno

From Toledo, Spain, came this handsome 16th Century vargueno, a part of the Museum’s permanent exhibit. It is ornamented in ivory, gold-leaf and ebony, and has two secret compartments.   B.L. SHANKLAND.

17th Century Spanish oak chest.

Intricate decoration sets off this 17th Century Spanish oak chest. Along with other furniture and artifacts from Spain, it was brought to the Serra Museum in 1929.   B.L. SHANKLAND

Cabrillo’s discovery of San Diego Bay in 1542 is depicted (top) by a diorama. Another diorama (below) shows Fort Yuma, a river port once included in San Diego County, as it appeared late in the 19th Century.

Gun Show and the Model Railroad Show   
Two popular annual events are the Gun Show and the Model Railroad Show featuring “Trains of the Past”. Top, visitors and arms collectors gather around the outdoor exhibit tables. Below is a view of the model railroad show. At the extreme lower right corner is a scale model of the private car in which Lily Langtry visited San Diego in the 1880s. Immediately above is a live steam working model of the locomotive C. P. Huntington of 1863, flanked by a typical Railway Mail car of the 1870s.